Go Green As You Clean

Most of us are familiar with news headlines that announce International agreements on the environment aimed at lowering our dependency on fossil fuels and reducing our carbon footprint. While these grand gestures are very welcome, eco-friendly practices can take place on a much smaller scale…in our homes. For example, it is easy to go green as you clean.

Many frequently used cleaning products have been linked to the pollution of our water courses and are believed to encourage algal blooms that damage aquatic life. Furthermore, some are associated serious medical conditions such as asthma, cancer and disruption of the endocrine system.

Here are three handy tips to help you go green as you clean.

Invest in quality Microfibre Cloths: Microfibre cloths can be used to clean almost anything with just the cloth and water. They can even be used as a duster when dry. They will last for years, reduce the toxic chemicals in your home, lead to fewer plastic bottles under your kitchen sink and are far more sustainable for the planet.

Reduce your consumption of Paper towels: Kitchen roll should only be used for emergency purposes They are very wasteful single use products, often manufactured from virgin forests. If you have no alternative opt for 100% recycled paper, such as Ecoleaf, but if you can, use some of the many reusable products on the market. Most of which will do a better job than a piece of paper. The only time I reach for a paper towel these days is to mop up oil from cooking or spills. It can’t be washed down the drain so has to go into the bin.

Seek alternative to harsh chemical products: There is no need to fill your shopping basket with expensive cleaning products. Take a fresh look in your kitchen cupboards, they are already full of natural cleaning products such as white vinegar, lemon juice and bicarbonate of soda all of which can be used just as effectively as follows.

  • To clean your shower head. Put equal parts of white vinegar and water into a plastic food bag and secure it over the shower head with an elastic band. Leave the bag on for at least one hour (preferably overnight). When finished, remove the bag and wipe the shower head clean. You can also de-scale a tap in the same way.
  • To clean the microwave – place a bowl of water, with a sliced lemon in it, into the microwave. Put it on for 10-15 minutes, or long enough for it to create plenty of steam. Let it sit for another 10-15 mins and wipe down with a microfibre cloth. The lemon will make it smell lovely and fresh.
  • Sprinkle bicarbonate of soda over the bottom of a baking tray, that has burnt on food. Cover the bottom with white vinegar and leave to fizz. Rinse clean.
  • For a bad buildup of limescale in your kettle. Mix 500ml white distilled vinegar and 500ml water, pop it into the kettle, boil it then leave to cool and finally rinse it out thoroughly. You’ll be amazed how much quieter the kettle boils now.

But if home-made cleaners aren’t for you there are more and more brands of healthy, green, and effective cleaning products starting to hit the market and competing for that coveted place of honour under your sink. These products are non-toxic, biodegradable, and made from renewable/sustainable resources (not petroleum). As always, read the label carefully.

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